With more and more older employees staying in or returning to the workforce after their traditional “retirement age,” claims of age discrimination have steadily increased over the past 10 years. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there were 20,857 federal charges of age discrimination in 2016 alone. Despite its prevalence, age discrimination can take many forms, so it can be difficult to determine whether a particular action is the result of age discrimination. How do you know if you are being discriminated against because of your age?
The Connecticut age discrimination lawyers at Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C. are here to help. For more than 40 years, we have represented hundreds of victims of age bias in the workplace. Our recent results in age discrimination cases include a $3.5 million settlement on behalf a high-level Fortune 100 executive and a $2 million settlement on behalf of a physician-leader at a prominent Connecticut hospital. We have also partnered with AARP Foundation Litigation to advocate on behalf of older workers.
Age Discrimination in the Workplace
According to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, it is illegal to discriminate against workers over the age of 40 in any stage of their employment. This includes hiring, promotions, raises, and layoffs. So you cannot be denied a job because you are older; you cannot be passed over for promotion because you are older; and you cannot be terminated or selected for layoff because you are older. (Although federal law does not protect younger workers from age discrimination, Connecticut law does.)
Proving Ageism in the Workplace
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40 percent of American workers are 55 years old or older. This means more and more employees are staying or returning to the workforce. This also means the opportunities for age discrimination have increased.
Although 64 percent of American workers say they have either seen or experienced some type of age discrimination in the workplace, it can be difficult to prove. However, there are some common signs of ageism in the workplace.
Have any of these scenarios happened to you?
- You lost your job and were replaced by a younger worker.
- You were laid off in a mass layoff or large-scale reduction-in-force, and most of the people selected seem to be older.
- You were not hired for a job you were qualified for because you were “too experienced” or “overqualified.”
- Your main job duties have been reassigned to someone who has a “longer runway” in front of them.
- Your supervisor tells you that you aren’t “flexible enough” to learn a new skill, especially one that’s commonly associated with a younger generation.
- Your performance reviews have declined precipitously after you turned a certain age.
- Your bosses or your colleagues have made derogatory comments about your age, saying that you’re “over the hill” or “should think about retirement” or that they’re looking for some “new blood.”
- You are repeatedly asked when you are going to retire.
If so, you may be experiencing age discrimination.
What Steps Should You Take?
If you believe you are experiencing discrimination because of your age, speak with an experienced Connecticut employment lawyer right away. Do not wait until you are terminated. Some of the most valuable advice we provide is to workers who are fighting to keep their jobs.
The Connecticut age discrimination lawyers at Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C. have been protecting the rights of older employees for more than 40 years. We have been recognized by our peers and a number of legal organizations for our top-notch legal skills. Our lawyers work as a team to give you the best possible representation. We have taken on almost every large employer in the state of Connecticut, and we are not afraid to stand up for your rights.
If you believe you are a victim of age discrimination at work in Connecticut, please contact Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti now for a confidential evaluation of your case.